Book Review – Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Complete and Annotated
Luke Dempsey
2012 doorstop… er I mean Hardback

Monty Python’s Flying Circus complete and annotated is the sidetable of all Monty Python books. And when I say sidetable, I mean sidetable. It’s wider, taller, and by far thicker than any book you’ve got sitting around you right now. (Easily half an inch taller and at least an inch wider than the hardback I have sitting here with it.) And how thick? Well, at about 900 pages of extra thick paper, it’s about three times as thick as a normal book as well.

But for mostly good reason.

Inside this book are complete scripts for all 45 episodes of the television show. Along the sides of the script are comments that are really awesome because they explain a lot of the references that you might miss if you’re not current on 1970s Great Brittan. (So, you know, it tells you that you might have missed half the jokes.)

There are lots of pictures and way more bright colors than you’d ever expect to see in a book.

But, there are issues, too. The book is *heavy* – like wicked heavy. So it’ s not one that you’re going to snuggle with and get all comfy. Also, script reading is boring, so after a while I found myself reading the side notes and not any of the script anymore unless I came up to a favorite skit (this parrot is no more!).

Also, as somebody who has written scripts before (disclaimer: I hated it! Also, they’re all unpublished.), I’m pretty familiar with script formatting, and I fully expected to see that here. They didn’t at all bother to format these like scripts, so there’s a weird mish-mash of lines and fonts and whatever else. It makes it pretty but I would much rather have seen the form.

There’s also no new content aside from those side comments, and very little content about those who were a part of this at all. Each of the Monty Python people have one page of bio info, and it’s all tucked away randomly inside somewhere.

The book is $50. If you’re a serious Monty Python fan – remember, TV show, not the movies – buy it, and keep it around for use as an end table, door stop (dude, you could block the doggie door with this thing), or weapon (providing you have the arm strength to throw this at somebody). But as far as reading goes, this isn’t one that you really get a lot of benefit from reading it all in one sitting.

Bottom line, buy it if you can recite the entire Blancmanges playing Tennis skit, but just let it be if you aren’t that into it. (3/5)

%d bloggers like this: